A Mashujaa Day Toast

the Magunga
This is going to be a quick one. I am sitting on my couch with nothing more than a towel wrapped around my waist. Her towel. And the reason this post is going to be a quickie is because it will not be long before she asks me to get up. She does not like me sitting on the couch with her towel. Ati it is unsanitary. Women!

Anyway.

I would like to propose a toast. To the people I consider both heroes and villains in my life. These people add colour to living. It would be a boring drab life if you did not have people who inspire us. Those who push us farther, to do more than we thought we could.

Here is to Bikozulu. The first toast goes to you, my friend, for obvious reasons. Without you, I would not be writing. Your words gave me legs. And now here I am. A long way from literary brilliance, but a few steps closer every day.  And here is to Zukiswa Wanner. The one who exposes my ignorance every day on WhatsApp. Who needs 8-4-4 when you have this South African jaber? We should share a Tusker again soon.

To other writers. It is believed that God created human beings, then chose the best kind to be writers. And the latest selection, the new emergent voices from around the globe includes names like Ras Mengesha, Ndinda Kioko, Moses Kilolo, Aleya Kassam, Obinna Udenwe, Olubunmi Familoni, Alexander Ikawah, Beverly Akoyo, Ngartia Bryan and every single member of the Creative Lounge (including those who left).

To the poets and the spoken word artists. I do not know the difference. I do not know whether there is a difference. What I know I that to be a poet is to be divine. You guys are the soul of wit. Especially you, Akello, Richie Maccs, Rixpoet, Sheila Okong’o and Dorphan.

To those who read, asanteni sana. And yes, sometimes you are not just a consumer of our work. Sometimes you are also the material. The case study. Lakini to be honest, not all of those stories were about you. So get over yourself.

To Ramsey Street. Thogi, Onyi, Abi, JP, Kaimuri and the one man who can never find himself when he Googles his name; Samora Machel. One day, when we find a working formula for being an adult, we will grow up. In the meantime, we will gather every Sunday and break bread while shooting Y DoWeDoIt. Well, honestly, we meet for the curve TV, and once in a while, Onyi’s cooking.

To the drifters on Facebook. To the idiot who thought it wise to put that binging notification sound on Facebook and that annoying video auto-play functionality. The hallowed council of the interwebs led by the paramount chiefs; Wanja Kavengi, Shoba Gatimu and Gikonyo Kelvin. Just remember that bhangi sio kunde. To the Kenyans on Twitter – the robots and the humans- keep winning.

Remember also to live large because life is for living. We will have enough time to relax when we are dead.

And to my fellow bachelors of Lang’ata. Martin Maitha (Mbolonye). Oscar Mukundi (Chess). James Mbugua (Manywele). Christopher Kibaki (Kibz). Paul Wafula (Abubakar). We are at this confusing moment in time. A time when we are trying to be men but deep inside we are still boys. We are struggling with new ideals of what it means to be a man at a moment so confusing. On one hand there is the old belief of what it means to be a man; the stone cold provider and protector. On the other , there is the man who came with the new millennium. The one who is allowed to cry in public and say shit like ‘I love you’ to their kids. To be old school is to be misogynistic. To be new school is to be a sell-out to men. We do not know which man we should become as the thickets in our crotches get thicker. Either way, here’s to us, gentlemen; we don’t kiss and tell, we kiss and exaggerate!

To those who have found what they are looking for. To those who are still searching. To those waking up next to someone they do not know. To those waking up next to the same person every day. To the dream chasers and the game changers. To the grammar nazi and the illiterate people with social media accounts.  To those of you whose mothers paid for holiday tuition Math classes, but have never applied Pythagoras Theorem in your lives. To those of you who were caned for failing Trigonometry. To those who follow Baba, to those who follow Kamwana, to whoever fixed Ruto and everyone else caught in between. To the fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. To family. To ex girlfriends; just know that it wasn’t you, it was me. To the newlyweds on honeymoon who think that sex will always be that good and frequent. To the old couples who know better.  To the people in come we stay relationships (or cum we stay because she got pregnant). To the ladies of the night; the ones who in high heels and short skirts, you who have to freeze in the cold to look hot.  To the glorious women who run massage parlours with happy endings. To feminism – whatever that means – and the people behind it; all I know is that you mean well.

To all of you, I tip my hat.

Today is Mashujaa Day. The day Kenya celebrates her heroes. Here is a small fact. Our commander-in-chief will not mention you. Imagine you are not even a chip on his shoulder. But though the president will not celebrate you, I celebrate you. Whoever you are. However you are. Wherever you are or come from. Whoever you love. All of you.  (Well, except you RJ who dared me to do squats juzi because I am getting fat and unfit, thereby setting my thighs on fire for two days in a row. You are definitely not a shujaa in my books today. Maybe next week.)

I celebrate ALL of you because of a film I recently watched. The one about the trial of Adolf Eichmann; the SSS operative who facilitated the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem that had, for too long, bothered Führer Adolf Hitler. Truth is, we are not so different from Hitler and his Nazi henchmen. They had Treblinka and Auschwitz camps while Kenya had Kasarani Concentration Camp. All of which served the same purpose.

One thing from that movie stands true. Each of us Kenyans who feel that God created us better than other human beings has stood on the threshold that Hitler, Eichmann, William Ruto and Goodwill Zwelithini stood.  And each Kenyan who has allowed the shape of another person’s nose, or the colour of their skin, or their ethnic identity, or the way they make love or worship their God or whoever they choose to fuck, to poison his/her feelings about them, has known the loss of reason that leads beasts of men to their madness.  For that is how it all begins.

So remember that it takes all kinds to make a world. Remember also to live large because life is for living. We will have enough time to relax when we are dead.

Finally, here is to you who is reading this. Fill your glasses with something brewed for a moment of celebration and then raise them high, invincible or otherwise, by way of salamati.  Help me dedicate this toast to the one thing every human being has loved ever since s/he was born. Here is to nipples. For without them, breasts would not have a point.

Bottoms up!

 

*this didn’t turn out to be a quickie after all, aye?*

A Mashujaa Day Toast via @theMagunga

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  1. 20th October 2015

    To you for being blunt.

  2. 20th October 2015

    Though isn’t a quickie i read all through. “Here is to nipples. For without them, breasts would not have a point”
    And without a mention of a breast it wouldn’t have been a toast

  3. 20th October 2015

    (raises glass of juice) And here’s to you, you’re one brave wanker. Keep it up.

  4. Joe Munuve –
    20th October 2015

    To Magunga, the goon whose incessant pursuit for literary wells, has been an inspiration to we- aspiring writers- to get off our backs and write,write and write.
    This was profound old mate. As was the meeting at Coke Studio. Keep scribbling. Keep toasting. But ditch that flannel shirt.

  5. 20th October 2015

    And a toast it is. Here is to all word artists and witches/wizards; those who get bitten by the writing bug in the wee hours of the night and end up walking around in highly caffeinated bodies the following day.
    A good read indeed. The quickie went on and on, and I wouldn’t help but notice that one W.S.R is in serious company (in the annals of history)

    A quick one. What is this obsession with nipples all about? Hehehe…
    keep writing man.
    You get better everyday.

  6. Magunga Williams –
    20th October 2015

    Nipples were the first source of nourishment and as you grow older, you learn to appreciate them even more.

  7. 20th October 2015

    Haha u nailed it! cheers drink to that!

  8. Dennis Kabutei –
    20th October 2015

    To those who don’t yet know if it’s Magunga and not Maganga or Mganga or whatever they presume.

    To ‘The Magunga’ for the weekly literally fix we draw from it.

  9. 20th October 2015

    it would have pointless been pointless without breasts in it,such a perve I might be.
    we ni shujaa bill magush

  10. 21st October 2015

    a toast it is.new to your blog but good stuff man,like your writting

  11. 22nd October 2015

    hahaha salute!!

  12. 23rd October 2015

    on point! (adding this because google said my comment is too short….si now its long ) 😉

  13. Megan Omare –
    26th October 2015

    Kind of sad how I am reading this 6 days after the actual holiday .
    Anyway this little comment here is for you, for having a sense of wit the average Kenyan sharing and liking things on social media will not understand. And particularly for that ending which was blunt, to say the least. And also for that literary hero you will be one day. And lastly for being one of the writers inspiring the next generation of writers to keep writing and to keep growing.

    Thank you for this one. 🙂

  14. 27th October 2015

    Here here mate!! You too are a true shujaa. Great piece.

  15. 28th October 2015

    The last of it left me chuckling..good writing!

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